Google Expands International Targeting In AdWords

Google Adwords Enhanced CampaignsGoogle has tweaked how location targeting works for international searches. It’s a change that allows ads to be seen across countries, not just within countries, when the search query has local intent.

According to today’s announcement, advertisers that use either the “default” or “location of interest” setting will be able to target their ads based on

  • the location that people are search for, and
  • the location that people are searching from

Here’s how Google explains it:

For example, let’s say you own a hotel, and you are currently targeting Paris with the keyword “Paris hotels.” Previously, only people searching on or from France could see your ad. Starting the week of November 11, your ads will be eligible to show to people searching for “Paris hotels” from anywhere in the world — for example, someone who lives in New York City who is booking a vacation in Paris.

In other words, ads may begin to show to searchers in places where your ads weren’t showing before. Google says this may result in an increase in impressions, and advertisers that want to narrow their location settings can still do so using advanced location options and/or by excluding geographic locations.

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Google: AdWords | Top News


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn


Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  


Other ways to share:

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.
  • Fede Einhorn

    You mean that before, if you targeted ALL countries, and the “paris hotels” keyword, your ad was shown only to french people? Mmmmhh what a WRONG WAY TO DO IT. If I chose to target ALL people searching for “Paris Hotels” I would expect to get traffic from any country, otherwise I would just go with the location targeting in conjunction with keywords… Something isn’t right in the story.

  • Milda Prušinskaitė

    Sounds like fun. However, hasn’t it been like this before? I was always pretty sure that if i’m searching for a hotel in Warsaw from my domain, i see the ads that are targeted to Poland. That’s what the guys write in Google’s learning center:

    Some examples of how we might detect a location of interest if a user does any of the following:
    “Includes the name of a recognizable location in her search.
    Searches within an area of the map on Google Maps or Google Maps for Mobile.
    Sets a custom location for Google search results.
    Uses a country-specific domain, such as (France), without including another location in the search.”

    Here’s the link to the whole article:

    Please correct if i’m missing something here. Thanks a lot in advance!

  • Mandy Cochrane

    This is a very timely article, thanks Matt! Funnily enough, I was researching this very option for a customer 2 days ago, a UK boarding school seeking to attract international students. From my understanding of the advanced location options at the time (and it was rather complicated to decipher, so I may have got it wrong) it worried me that a user in France would have to switch from to for a search for, say, “UK boarding schools” to trigger our ads. Which seemed kind of crazy and irrational. I posed the question in an AdWords forum and got an answer saying that our ads *would* be triggered, no matter what version of Google was used. However, this article seems to indicate that my first impressions were correct. Thank goodness that’s going to change on 11 November!

  • Mandy Cochrane

    Hi Milda, I just read those pages from Google’s Learning Centre and I’m fairly sure they’ve been slightly amended from a couple of days ago, when I was scratching my head over the situation I described below, and thinking it didn’t make sense! The way it’s worded now, it’s a lot less ambiguous and does, as you say, support the idea that location targeting already works the way we need it to.

  • LeadsDubai

    either i target locations specific to country of default to all countries, my locally intended search query with location in the keywords will show all over the world? thats not a good update. so google is trying to get more clicks by displaying my ads to markets i dont want to target ti? i think i didnt undertand this article quiet well

  • Apps Training

    I feel its more of a google ads revenue generation. I feel it will decrease roi ob ur campaigns.

  • Jessica Eve

    How funny! This is the way to get lot of money through increasing impressions as well as click through rates of the campaign..

  • Paul Caudell

    This was my first thought. ‘Let’s make people have to work harder to focus their traffic and maybe some of them will spend more.’

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest


Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States


Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech

Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!



Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide